Missing Fla. Woman's Family Goes to Morgue to ID Body Found in Costa Rica: 'The Wait Is So Painful'
Carla Stefaniak was last seen on November 27 in Costa Rica
The family of 36-year old Carla Stefaniak has gone to the morgue in Costa Rica to identify a body that might belong to the Florida woman who went missing in the country a week ago.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Stefaniak’s family said they were “scared” as they headed to the morgue. “Please keep sending your prayers,” the family wrote in the post.
Stefaniak, who was traveling with her sister-in-law April Burton, was last seen on Nov. 27, just one day before her birthday. The two women were staying in an Airbnb rental.
After Burton left to return home early for a family obligation, Stefaniak opted to stay in Costa Rica. She was expected to return home to Tampa on Wednesday, but her family grew worried after she didn’t make it back. Although she checked in for her flight, she never got on the plane.
On Monday, a woman’s decomposed body was found outside the Airbnb rental. She had been wrapped in plastic and buried in the back of the San José property.
After the body was found on Monday, Walter Espinoza, a spokesman for Costa Rica’s government gave a press conference. “We cannot yet confirm that it is the body of Carla Stefaniak,” Espinoza said, according to The Miami Herald. “Once we get the autopsy results we can provide more details.”
In an interview with Fox 13 Tampa Bay, Burton said that Stefaniak had texted on the day she disappeared, saying that the Airbnb was “pretty sketchy.”
In hopes of finding answers, Stefaniak’s brother Carlos Caicedo has traveled to Costa Rica where he visited the Airbnb.
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Federico Jenkins, a lawyer for the rental complex where Stefaniak was last seen, issued a statement saying that the owners continue to cooperate with investigators.
“We are deeply saddened and devastated by the tragic events that occurred last week,” Jenkins wrote. “The owners are fully cooperating with the authorities in the investigation and we hope that once the facts are determined, the perpetrator is brought to justice. Our deepest sympathies are with the family of the victim of this horrible crime.”
While the investigation continues, the rental complex is closed to more guests.
The family has also created a GoFundMe page in order to raise funds for their travels to Costa Rica to find Stefaniak. In a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon, the family said they’re still hoping for answers.
“No updates as of yet,” the family wrote. “We are all still waiting for confirmation. The wait is so painful but all the love and support for Carla and the family is beyond amazing!”